Oh, yes…its grilling season! A time to relax in our backyards, entertain with friends and family, indulge in our favorite beverages, and of course enjoy amazing food whose unique smell and flavor can only come from a grill or bar-b-que.
It is also the time of year that we realize that our old grill just will not survive the season and the search for a new grill begins. But with so many different grills available, how do you decide which grill is right for you and your family.
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Before heading to the stores, taking a little time to consider the following 6 things will help ensure you come home with a grill that is right for you.
1. What is your Budget for the new grill?
The simple fact is…you tend to get what you pay for! Do you want to pay less for a lower quality grill which will not last as long and require regular repairs, or do you want to pay more for a quality grill which will last longer and require much less maintenance?
Before you answer that question, carefully consider the frequency you use, or plan to use, your grill. If you only use your grill occasionally, when entertaining or special events, then maybe you don’t need a high-quality grill. However, if you intend to use your new grill every chance possible, then you should consider buying quality.
2. Where is your new grill going to be located?
When selecting your “grilling area”, there is several factors that should be considered:
3. Who Are you cooking for?
- 1Are you a family of 2 or are you a family of 6?
- 2Do you have young children that eat very little or do you have teenage boys that attack ribs like they have not eaten in a week?
- 3When you entertain, does it tend to be smaller intimate gatherings, or do you tend to invite the entire neighborhood?
- 4Do you use your grill to just cook the meet, or do you also plan on preparing the veggies, corn of the cobb, appetizers, and dessert on your grill?
Knowing who will be grilling for will help you select the right size of grill.
4. What are you cooking?
Today, there are so many options and accessories available for grills. It seems that every time I visit my bar-b-que retailer, they have more and more tools and accessories they want to sell me. However, there is no reason to get options and accessories that you are not going to use.
My wife would laugh that I said that. I tend to be very adventurous when if come to grilling so I tend to buy every tool and accessory available. Some get used more than other and some have never been used. So, it is important that you consider what you will be cooking on your grill?
Steaks – you want a grill that can get very hot and maybe has a searer.
Roasts – you will want a rotisserie and a back burner. A remote thermometer will allow you to monitor you roast while you work around the house.
Fish – there are ceramic fish cooking platters or cedar planks.
Kabobs – there is a variety of metal skewers and skewer racks.
Whole Chickens – a beer can rack will provide flavor that your oven can never achieve.
Vegetables – you may want a grilling basket or side burner.
Sautéed mushrooms or seafood – a small cast iron grill pan will allow you to enhance your steaks like the best restaurants.
Pizza – ceramic pizza stones and a wood burning feature will allow you to make amazing wood fired pizza. Perfect for feeding kids or as an appetizer to your meal.
Breakfast – imagine serving breakfast on the patio straight off your bar-b-que. A flat cast iron skillet will allow you to make pancakes, eggs, bacon…anything.
Knowing what you are going to be cooking will help you select the right features, tools and accessories for your new gas grill.
5. What Other Grilling Equipment Do You Have?
Is the grill your only outdoor cooking equipment or do you have other outdoor cooking equipment, like a smoker, charcoal grill, or wood fire pizza over? The more equipment you have, the fewer features you will need on your gas grill.
6. What is your Level of Grilling Expertise?
If you use the grill primarily for cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, well almost any grill will do.
However, if you consider yourself a “gourmet griller” then you will require a more advanced grill that will compliment your refined skills and talents. Also, the more complicated and varied your menu, the more precise and flexible your grilling equipment and tools should be.
Most people fall somewhere in the middle, which is why there is such a wide range of grills to choose from.
If you are considering more than just a new gas grill...like maybe an entire outdoor kitchen, check out our article, Outdoor Kitchens: Turning Gourmet Grilling into Entertainment.
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